Friday, March 29, 2013

Rapid warming, no going back and human error regarding Geoengineering. And a note from O.E.

Edited 3/29/2013 4:11 pm
Note from O.E.:  -An inbuement- regarding termination shock from "unintended" Geoengineering [i][ii][iii].

This shock may be counteracted by reducing 'aviation contrails' [iv] and short lived pollutants besides CO2 since these two forms of "unintended' Geoengineering actually lead to significant warming [v] [vi]. 

The failure from the 'geoengineering community' to investigate the side effects that these activities may have had and continues to have (in the context of Geoengineering) in respect to ongoing events of climate extremes and climate change, is in my view the single greatest factor that leads to the evident distrust, and more, of Geoengineering in general.  It is absolutely irresponsible! A problem of their own making.

[i] "We may know more, science writer Oliver Morton reports, when the cargo shipping industry comes under stricter emissions regulations in about 10 years. Oceangoing ships emit a lot of sulfur, which helps to brighten marine clouds. By reducing such emissions, the shipping industry “will inadvertently commit the world to significant extra warming,” he says."

[ii]  "It is important to recognize that we are at present involved in a large project of inadvertent "geoengineering" by altering atmospheric chemistry"

[iii] "regular commercial and operational activities, shipping, aviation, other stuff that are every day imposing environmental perturbations that are the same scale or bigger than any research project"

[iv] A safer alternative to Solar Radiation Management (Geoengineering)

[v] Cutting Short-lived Pollutant Can Halve Near-term Warming

[vi] Contrails warm the world more than aviation emissions

20 reasons why geoengineering may be a bad idea
ALAN ROBOCK Rutgers University

10. Rapid warming if deployment stops. A technological, societal, or political crisis could halt a project of stratospheric aerosol injection in middeployment.

Such an abrupt shift would result in rapid climate warming, which would produce much more stress on society and ecosystems than gradual global warming.[17]

11. There’s no going back. We don’t know how quickly scientists and engineers could shut down a geoengineering system—or stem its effects—in the event of excessive climate cooling from large volcanic eruptions or other causes. Once we put aerosols into the atmosphere, we cannot remove them.

12. Human error. Complex mechanical systems never work perfectly. Humans can make mistakes in the design, manufacturing, and operation of such systems. (Think of Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez, airplane crashes, and friendly fire on the battlefield.) 

Should we stake the future of Earth on a much more complicated arrangement than these, built by the lowest bidder?

[17] See Figure 1 in Wigley, “A Combined Mitigation/Geoengineering Approach to Climate Stabilization,” pp. 452–54, 

and Figure 3 in H. Damon
Matthews and Ken Caldeira, “Transient ClimateCarbon Simulations of Planetary Geoengineering,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 104, pp. 9,949–54 (2007)

More resources:

Double catastrophe: Intermittent stratospheric geoengineering induced by societal collapse 
A global catastrophe scenario involving climate change, geoengineering, and a separate catastrophe. (Italics mine)


Perceived failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has prompted interest in avoiding the harms of climate change via geoengineering, that is, the intentional manipulation of Earth system processes.

Perhaps, the most promising geoengineering technique is stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI), which reflects incoming solar radiation, thereby lowering surface temperatures.

This paper analyzes a scenario in which SAI brings great harm on its own. The scenario is based on the issue of SAI intermittency, in which aerosol injection is halted, sending temperatures rapidly back toward where they would have been without SAI.

The rapid temperature increase could be quite damaging, which in turn creates a strong incentive to avoid intermittency. In the scenario, a catastrophic societal collapse eliminates society's ability to continue SAI, despite the incentive.

The collapse could be caused by a pandemic, nuclear war, or other global catastrophe. The ensuing intermittency hits a population that is already vulnerable from the initial collapse, making for a double catastrophe.

While the outcomes of the double catastrophe are difficult to predict, plausible worst-case scenarios include human extinction.

The decision to implement SAI is found to depend on whether global catastrophe is more likely from double catastrophe or from climate change alone.

The SAI double catastrophe scenario also strengthens arguments for greenhouse gas emissions reductions and against SAI, as well as for building communities that could be self-sufficient during global catastrophes.

Finally, the paper demonstrates the value of integrative, systems-based global catastrophic risk analysis.

Seth D. Baum, Timothy M. Maher, Jr., and Jacob Haqq-Misra, 2013. "Double catastrophe: Intermittent stratospheric geoengineering induced by societal collapse". Environment, Systems and Decisions, vol. 33, no. 1 (March), pages 168-180.

EPA Bans Sooty Ship Fuel Off U.S. Coasts
New regulations prevent ships from burning highly polluting bunker fuel in American territorial waters

#Geoengineering #Climate Issues

Para una corta introducción visite:

Los invito a que lean también mi semanario en español:

GEOINGENIERIA DEL CLIMA - Temas sobre la Geoingeniería Climática - Modificación del Clima 

Y en inglés con algunos articulos en español: #Geoengineering #Climate Issues

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A #Geoengineering #Climate Issues blog por Oscar y Jocelyn Escobar se distribuye bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional.